Sunday, Nov 27, 2022
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We The People: Literary Torchbearer For The Blind

Braille Man of India, Swagat Thorat, translates popular Marathi and Hindi literature and news into Braille for the visually challenged

Swagat Thorat, Braille Evangelist

He was always fascinated by the way the visually challenged adapted to their disability and navigated their sig­htlessness. For Swagat Thorat, who is known as the Braille Man of India, introducing the visually challenged to popular Mara­thi and Hindi literature, including news rep­orts, feature stories and opinion pieces by popular writers, was a challenge as he was sighted. By blindfolding himself for long periods to comprehend their world of darkness and trying to perform all the tasks that they did every day. Thorat got a better understanding of the dil­emmas faced by the visually challenged.

It was in 1993 when Thorat first got involved with this community for a project, which proved to be the beginning of a long innings. It was a documentary about two schools for the visually challenged in Pune. The documentary, Kal­l­okhatil Chandane (Stars in Darkness), was made for the Mar­a­t­hi radio channel Akashvani, based in Pune.

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